MEGables November 2017 - Volume 3

Built to Last...Part 1 of 3

Monthly giving programs are only as strong as the giver experiences they deliver and as the people and processes that guide and systemize them.

Some programs are shooting stars that rise and quickly burn out. Others steadily grow and then hit a plateau, where they linger. The special ones are those that take flight and keep growing year-after year.

What do the special ones have in common?

Long-term thriving monthly giving programs are intentionally launched and strategically nurtured with special care for the three Ps: Product, People, and Process. 

Product - When crafted and managed well, monthly giving programs provide a unique and consistently engaging giving experience for their members. The better the product ("the giving experience"), the more monthly givers that will join and continue supporting the mission. While there are multiple elements that come together to create that consistent, special giver experience, two elements are vital.

First, the monthly giving program must have a unique identity. That special brand, which typically includes a signature program name, tagline, and logo, "connects" the giver to the organization or university and mission, signaling to the giver that he or she is part of a special group that is working together to advance the cause.

Second, the organization or university, must methodically engage members with brand consistent communications and opportunities, such that the product ("the giving experience") continues to be vibrant and valuable for them. Those touch points are channels for mission specific people impact stories and even volunteer experiences that illustrate the power of their monthly giving. The best practice process for delivering consistently special monthly giver experiences is well described as "Systemizing the Love".

Though the first P, product, plays a vital program role as the substance of members' monthly giving experience, it is critically interdependent with the other Ps, people and process.

Stay tuned for MEGables Volume 4 and Volume 5 that will feature Built to Last...Part 2 of 3 and Built to Last...Part 3 of 3. In turn, they will focus on the other two Ps, people and process.

Sensation Transference, a MEG Effect

 Why are product marketers so obsessed with packaging?

Many would argue that Louis Cheskin's widely accepted, principle of Sensation Transference should get much of the credit...or blame.

Sensation Transference is Cheskin's coined name for his discovery that most people simply transfer their feelings about packaging to the product or service as a whole.

This principle has been repeatedly confirmed over time through independent research. With that, Cheskin orchestrated a 1940's "Margarine versus Butter" research experiment that proved the theory.

At the time, margarine was white in color and was not very popular relative to butter. For the experiment, Cheskin changed the color of the margarine to yellow, the same color as butter. 

Experts in University Monthly Giving

With the switch, study participants could not consistently differentiate between butter and margarine. In another separate test, he asked participants to taste test the "white" margarine against a "yellow" version of the same margarine that had been wrapped in foil. In those days foil was a sign of quality.

The yellow margarine wrapped in foil was the overwhelming winner evidencing how consumers' transfer their favorable perceptions of the packaging, design and color, to the product itself.


The result?

Cheskin's recommendations were implemented. His client's margarine sales soared, the product category saw explosive growth and the principle of Sensation Transference was validated by consumer behavior.

What does all this have to do with fundraising and Monthly Engaged Giving?

Offering monthly giving as a bland, undifferentiated option without unique branding, engaging stories and creative design is like going to market with white margarine in wax paper. It might win a few members, but it isn't likely to endear your supporters and it certainly won't yield the revenue results that you need and want.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving programs are different by design. They're custom crafted with real substance and unique and engaging packaging.

Sensation Transference. Yes, it's a MEG effect.

MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) is TwelveX's "Monthly Giving In-a-Box" fundraising methodology for recruiting new givers, engaging supporters, and boosting retention like never before.  |  913-254-3585